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Centralia High School prepares for first day of school

Centralia High School prepares for first day of school

Progress continues toward opening day at Centralia High School, and Principal Reid Shipley announced Thursday night at the monthly CHS board meeting that the first day for students is set for August 19, with teachers reporting August 14 for three days of preparation for the coming year.

Shipley added the school will begin sending registration packets out today (July 24).

Superintendent Chuck Lane says they are preparing for full in-person attendance, a hybrid plan, or total remote learning. He doesn’t feel they are ready for full remote learning.

“If it happens we aren’t really ready for it yet so that’s why we want to spend time getting teachers ready and giving them the tools so they can use that so kids can get all the education that they need.  We want it to be as real as possible.”

The district is currently planning on attending four days a week in person, with Friday being a remote learning day. However, Lane reports some students may work at school on Fridays on a voluntary basis. As to negotiations with the teacher’s association, the Centralia High School Education Association (CHSEA), over changes due to the COVID restrictions, Lane said this year was challenging:

“Difficult times and trying to get everything accomplished we want to get done is hard but we appreciate the cooperation from our union to get a contract done and make it safe as possible for everybody.  It’s a lot different than most years trying to figure out.  We want kids to be here, but you want to keep kids safe….we have as many concerns as parents do obviously.”

Two events Lane said he hopes will help complete the district’s preparation for the year are planned for today (July 24). A thermal imaging fever camera system is expected to be demonstrated, and Lane said that if it works as expected the district will probably purchase some, to help pinpoint students running a fever as they enter the building.

Also, representatives from St. Mary’s/Good Samaritan SSM Health are expected to meet with school administrators to plan a strategy for dealing with COVID-19 issues in the school. He added that he has invited area superintendents to both events.

CHS will participate in the annual Balloon Fest, according to Lane, with a glow on the front lawn at CHS August 21 and 22, part of a city-wide “drive-by” glow which will include Centralia, Central City, and Wamac.

In other action, the board accepted the resignation of Assistant Girls’ Basketball Coach Raigen Schwartz, effective at of the end of the 2019-20 school year, and accepted the resignation of Assistant Girls’ Basketball Coach Brenden Colclasure, effective at of the end of the 2019-20 school year, and employed Emily Kracht as CEO program teacher for its first year of existence during the 2020-2021 school year.